Yes, kiddos, believe it or not, the Iowa State men's basketball season kicks off with an exhibition matchup against the UNO Mavericks at Hilton Coliseum.
With the football season starting to slog, now's probably as good of a time as any to take a look at Cyclone basketball. Greg McDermott returns with quite possibly his youngest team yet. Here's the projected starting lineup:
- G Diante Garrett (So.)
- G Bryan Petersen (Sr.)
- G Lucca Staiger (So.)
- F Craig Brackins (So.)
- F Jamie Vanderbeken (Jr.)
Vanderbeken is the only scholarship player on the roster (not counting Petersen, Haluska or Thompson, who's scholarship status always seems to be in flux) that is not a sophomore or freshman.
So the team will be young...yeah, we got that. But, at the very least, they might be fun to watch.
So, going a little more indepth, here's what seems to be the rotation at the guard and forward positions.
Diante Garrett, Bryan Petersen, Lucca Staiger, Sean Haluska, Dominique Buckley, Wes Eikmeier, Cam Lee, Charles Boozer
DG, Petey and Lucca all figure to start from day one. I imagine that McDermott will tend to lean on his older players, at least earlier in the season. Sean Haluska should figure to get a lot of time off the bench, while Buckley will more than likely be groomed to be able to back up the point. Eikmeier's playing time will depend on if he can retain his sharpshooter skills from high school, but who knows...there's so many variables.
Craig Brackins, Jamie Vanderbeken, Alex Thompson, LA Pomlee, Clinton Mann, Justin Hamilton
Brackins will have to be the pillar for this team. Notorious VDB should be expected to immediately step in and be capable of starting, but, if he's not ready, the nod should be given to Thompson. AT showed improvement last year, and he'd be pretty damn good if he had anything resembling an offensive game, because his defense ain't half bad. The three true freshman figure to see limited playing time, but Pomlee may have an edge - he's the only one not to get hurt yet. His knack for rebounding may be called upon to replace what Rahshon Clark left with. Mann could also see time for the same reasons. Hamilton just seems to be that typical, big dorky looking white center.
Overall, while I'm doubtful that we can make much noise in the Big 12 this year (and truthfully, anyone expecting greater than a .500 record is drinking something), the unknowns about this upcoming season should make for an intriguing storyline.